Stunning New Poll Numbers Mean Trouble For Trump’s Tax Plan

How much do Americans disapprove of President Donald Trump’s tax plan? Let us count the ways. The latest Reuters/Ipsos poll’s findings don’t bode well.

Reuters reports just 28 percent of those surveyed support the tax plan unveiled by the White House on September 27. Republicans insist the lost tax revenues would be more than made up for by economic growth.

But as Reuters notes, “Trump’s plans would balloon the deficit and add to the $20 trillion national debt, according to critics and independent analysts.”

Here are some more key findings on registered voters’ attitudes towards the proposed tax cuts.

  • Only 28 percent of respondents said they support the tax reform plan. Forty-one percent said they’re against it, and 31 percent said they don’t know.
  • Support for Trump’s tax cuts split along party lines, with 56 percent of Republicans and 9 percent of Democrats saying they support the tax plan.
  • Only 15 percent believe Republicans in Congress should focus on tax reform instead of on other issues.

Poll respondents also had a lot to say about tax cuts and the federal deficit.

  • Over 75 percent told pollsters paying down the U.S. federal budget deficit should take priority over tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy people who own and run them.
  • More than half of those polled agree that “[c]utting taxes for the poor is more important than reducing the federal deficit.”
  • Sixty-eight percent of Democrats agreed with the above statement, but so did 47 percent of Republicans.
  • Sixyt-three percent of Republicans said the federal deficit should take higher priority than tax cuts for corporations.
  • Seventy-five percent of Republicans said it’s more important to reduce the federal deficit than give tax cuts to rich people.

And here are a couple more fascinating little nuggets from the Reuters/Ipsos poll:

  • Among respondents who’d heard of the tax plan, 14 percent said they believe it would cut their taxes, 30 percent believed it would raise their taxes, 35 percent didn’t think their taxes would change, and 20 percent said they don’t know how the tax cuts would affect them.
  • About 25 percent percent of respondents want Congress to get back to work on a healthcare bill.

These numbers show even stronger disapproval than those reported by the Inquisitr earlier this week: A CNN poll that showed 52 percent of Americans oppose the tax cuts. The answers were divided along party lines, with 81 percent of Democrats and 50 percent of Independent saying they reject the plan, and 70 percent of Republicans saying they support it.

Bruce Bartlett at 2011 before a House Democratic Steering & Policy Committee Hearing on Risks of Default to the U.S. Economy and Jobs.
Bruce Bartlett (left), Former adviser to Ronald Reagan, with Heather Boushey (right) at a 2011 House Democratic Steering & Policy Committee Hearing on Risks of Default to the U.S. Economy and Jobs. [Photo by Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP]

Former Reagan Adviser comes out against Donald Trump’s tax cuts

It turns out ordinary voters are not the only ones who oppose the GOP’s tax cuts. They’ve also encountered opposition from an unlikely source: Bruce Bartlett, a former domestic policy adviser to President Ronald Reagan. On September 28, he wrote an op-ed for the Washington Post titled, “I helped create the GOP tax myth. Trump is wrong: Tax cuts don’t equal growth.”

He explains that tax cuts seemed to be the answer back in the 1970s because “taxes were rising rapidly because of inflation and bracket creep, the top tax rate was 70 percent and the economy seemed trapped in stagflation with no way out.” But now Bartlett says tax cuts have become ” the GOP’s go-to solution for nearly every economic problem,” and adds “Extravagant claims are made for any proposed tax cut.”

He also points out, “The Reagan tax cut did have a positive effect on the economy, but the prosperity of the ’80s is overrated in the Republican mind. In fact, aggregate real gross domestic product growth was higher in the ’70s — 37.2 percent vs. 35.9 percent.”

Bartlett writes the GOP’s theory on tax cuts ignores other factors like the Federal Reserve dropping its interest rates, and Reagan’s public spending on defense and highway construction. He also reminds readers that after Reagan’s 1981 tax cut, taxes were raised several times in the following years.

As for the Tax Reform Act of 1986, Bartlett writes economists have made “strenuous efforts” to find any growth. Instead, it was followed by three major stock market crashes — “1987’s ‘Black Monday,’ 1989’s Friday the 13th ‘mini-crash‘ and a recession beginning in 1990″ — and “Real wages fell.”

The investor, entrepreneur, and self-proclaimed “zillionaire” Nick Hanauer joins Bruce Bartlett in saying tax cuts for corporations and the rich don’t create jobs.

“The Republican tax plan is a scam—a massive and destructive financial giveaway masquerading as pro-growth tax reform,” he wrote in a scathing op-ed for Politico.

He went on to say tax hikes tend to help the economy, not hinder it.

“When President Bill Clinton hiked taxes, the economy boomed,” he explained. “When President George W. Bush slashed taxes, the economy ultimately collapsed.”

He also notes a widely-cited contrast between tax policies in the states of Kansas and California. The graph below from the U.S. Federal Reserve’s economic data shows the contrast between job creation stats for California (the blue line) and Kansas (the red line), as tweeted by top economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman.

Back in 2012, Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback enacted the kinds of tax cuts the White House is now backing. Since then, Kansas has “dramatically underperformed” in the areas of jobs and economic growth compared to other states. The same year, California raised its top income tax rate to 13.3 percent.

“By 2015, California had the fastest-growing economy in the nation. Kansas? Dead last.”

The Reuters/Ipsos poll was taken online in English across 50 states. According to reports, 1,862 responded, 1,079 of whom said they knew about the GOP’s tax plan.

[Featured Image by Alex Brandon/AP Images]